Video: Budiardi, labeled a ‘provocateur’ and jailed in a dispute with a palm oil company

first_imgArticle published by mongabayauthor Corruption, Deforestation, Environment, Forestry, Forests, Governance, National Parks, Palm Oil, Plantations, Politics, Protected Areas, Rainforests, Tropical Forests “The palm oil fiefdom” is an investigation by Mongabay and The Gecko Project, an initiative of the UK-based research house Earthsight.The article reveals how Darwan Ali, the former head of Indonesia’s Seruyan district, presided over an elaborate scheme to use shell companies as vehicles to sell plantation licenses to major palm oil firms.Short films produced in conjunction with the article feature some of those affected by Darwan’s licensing spree, including a Dayak man named Budiardi. Budiardi was one of the more colorful characters we met in our reporting for “ The palm oil fiefdom.”Thickset and outspoken, he was previously a member of the local parliament in Indonesia’s Seruyan district. He said he had been inspired to enter politics because the district chief, Darwan Ali, had ceded huge swaths of land to plantation companies that acted with impunity. In Hanau subdistrict, where Budiardi lived, residents had fallen into a bitter dispute with BEST Group, which had bulldozed into a national park home to thousands of endangered orangutans. Worse yet was how they treated the local people. “I’m from here, I know what they did,” Budiardi told us. “Evictions, seizing our land, right out in the open! We reported it everywhere and there was never any response.”Seruyan is on the island of Borneo, which is shared between Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei.The conflict in Hanau is one of thousands that has erupted across the country since the beginning of Indonesia’s palm oil boom. After the dictator Suharto fell in 1998, power was decentralized from Jakarta to the regions, placing control over land and resources in the hands of district chiefs like Darwan Ali. Where Suharto had sent his cronies to log the forest, these officials, known as bupatis, assigned whole landscapes to plantation and mining firms. They developed a reputation for corruption rivaling that of Suharto, becoming known as “little kings.”The Gecko Project and Mongabay investigated Darwan’s licensing spree, and found that he had presided over an elaborate scheme to use shell companies as vehicles for making money from major palm oil firms. These companies were set up in the names of his relatives and cronies, and received permits from the bupati himself before being sold to some of the industry’s biggest players. As the firms proceeded to clear lands claimed by indigenous and other rural communities, the farmers of Seruyan, many of whom had initially trusted in Darwan’s leadership, grew incensed with his rule.Budiardi, who uses one name, at his home in Hanau. Photo by Leo Plunkett for The Gecko Project.Despite his anger, Budiardi wasn’t against the concept of palm oil. He had a smallholding of his own and drove a truck for one of the companies. But as the years went by and BEST Group continued to ignore their entreaties, Budiardi and his neighbors decided enough was enough. One day, a group of them attacked the plantation, using a rope and truck to tear out a handful of oil palm trees by the roots. “The police came that very day,” Budiardi said. “I wasn’t there, but I was labeled a ‘provocateur’ because in the dispute I was the one coordinating with the company.” He served four months in jail over the incident.The farmers were granted some reprieve at the end of Darwan’s second and final term in 2013, when his son, running to replace his father, suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of an independent candidate whose platform was aimed squarely at the palm oil industry. This year, however, Darwan’s daughter will become the latest member of the family to stand for the position, raising the specter of another era of their rule.Watch our short film about Budiardi, below, to find out more. And then read our investigation into Darwan’s licenses, in English or Bahasa Indonesia.“The palm oil fiefdom” is the first installment of Indonesia for Sale, a series about the corruption behind Indonesia’s deforestation and land-rights crisis. The series is produced under a collaboration between Mongabay and The Gecko Project, an investigative reporting initiative established by the UK-based nonprofit Earthsight.center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img

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